Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.
The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he’s gone for good.
Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.
Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she’s at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew—how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn’t acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.
Det. Annalisa Vega of the Chicago PD, the strong, multilayered protagonist of this exceptional series launch from Schaffhausen (the Ellery Hathaway and Reed Markham mysteries), is called to a crime scene at the home of Grace Harper, who has been strangled by an ingenious system of knotted ropes. On the walls are photos of women in similar poses, all victims of the Lovelorn Killer, who murdered seven women in the late 1990s, then dropped out of sight. His last victim happens to have been the mother of a childhood friend of Annalisa's. The police soon discover Grace was part of a group of amateur sleuths who attempt to solve cold cases. Had she come too close to identifying the serial killer, or was she the victim of a copycat? Interspersed with gripping chapters focused on Annalisa's detective work are extracts from Grace's journal that offer some tantalizing insights into a murderer's mind. Excellent fair-play plotting, genuine surprises, and convincing characters make this a surefire winner. Mystery fans are in for a treat.